Merseyside Police officer who had sex on duty guilty of misconduct in public office

Published: 15 Sep 2023

A Merseyside Police officer investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following allegations he abused his position for a sexual purpose has been convicted of misconduct in public office (MIPO) and computer misuse offences.

PC Adam Hoyle, 39, admitted three charges of MIPO at an earlier hearing but denied two further counts of MIPO and three computer misuse offences. He was today (15 September) found guilty of the MIPO offences and two of counts of unauthorised access to computer material following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

It follows three independent investigations into allegations the officer, who was based at Lower Lane Police Station, had inappropriate contact with vulnerable women he met in the course of his duties. 

Following a referral in November 2019 we managed an investigation by Merseyside Police into allegations relating to PC Hoyle’s contact with women he met in the course of his duties.

In January 2020, after receiving additional information, we redetermined that the matter required independent investigation by the IOPC. Information uncovered during our inquiries led to a further referral in October 2020 and we began a second investigation into his contact with one of the women.

We found evidence of a pattern of unprofessional behaviour towards vulnerable women. He formed inappropriate relationships with three women he met after they reported being a victim of crime.

In two of these cases, PC Hoyle visited them while on duty, and travelled in a police vehicle, to have sex. On one of those occasions, in October 2016, he was supposed to be looking for a high-risk missing person at the time.

We also found evidence he attempted to initiate a sexual relationship with another woman.

On conclusion of the investigations in January 2021 and January 2022, we determined the cases should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which authorised charges in relation to PC Hoyle’s contact with three of the women.

Following media coverage of the charges, we received three further referrals of complaints, which contained new allegations, between November 2022 and January 2023. We began a new independent investigation, which is looking at PC Hoyle’s contact with three more women and is ongoing.

We found evidence of an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of these women and in March 2023 PC Hoyle made his first appearance in court to face a further charge of MIPO. This was among the charges considered during the trial this month.

Following a five-day trial, PC Hoyle was found guilty of two counts of MIPO and two of unauthorised access to computer material. This was in addition to the three charges of MIPO he had previously admitted. He will be sentenced on 27 October.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates said: “There is absolutely no place in policing for officers who abuse their position for a sexual purpose. PC Hoyle’s vile actions are a disgusting betrayal of the trust placed in officers by the public.

“Our investigations found he not only took advantage of his job to pursue sexual relationships with vulnerable women, but in one case he visited a woman to have sex with her when he was supposed to be helping search for a high-risk missing person.

“Our investigations, carried out independently of the police, have ensured he has been held accountable for his actions, and he now has a criminal record. It will be for Merseyside Police to arrange disciplinary proceedings in due course.”

Our initial investigations found PC Hoyle has a case to answer for gross misconduct in relation to his contact with seven women he met in the course of his duties. A third investigation, started in November 2022, remains ongoing.

Merseyside Police is responsible for arranging a misconduct hearing in due course, where the evidence will be heard by an independently-chaired panel.

  • Merseyside Police
  • Corruption and abuse of power